Perhaps trying a bit too hard to make it sound like this is a good change, the editors of DoubleX, Slate’s six-month-old online magazine for women, announced Monday that the separate site will become a section of Slate.com.
After some deliberation, we have decided to fold DoubleX back into Slate. The site will now become its own section, with our XX Factor blog, articles, and special projects already in the works. Our aim is to create a more intimate version of the community we have built, with many of the same voices and passions.
Sorry, but “a more intimate version of the community” reminds me of Spinal Tap’s manager explaining that the smaller venues on the band’s latest tour mean “their appeal is becoming more selective.”
For many of you, this won’t much change your experience of reading us. We will have many of the same bloggers and writers, and Hanna and Emily will continue to run the project. The decision is being made for business reasons rather than as an editorial judgment. In fact, it’s the editorial quality of the site, and the way in which it so perfectly embodies the Slate DNA, that makes this a natural next step. This is a new phase, not an ending–since we came out of Slate, where we started XX Factor, it’s a return to our roots.
As we’ve learned many times (most recently from CNN.com Live), when a publication or network announces it will cut down on the amount of content produced, layoffs aren’t far behind. The two additional clues here are 1) “We will have many of the same bloggers and writers” (but not all) and 2) “The decision is being made for business reasons rather than as an editorial judgment” (it’s about bottom-line numbers, which by definition are going to change). Unless something dramatic happens (like a big influx of unexpected revenue), it’s just a matter of how many layoffs, and when. Let’s just hope the staffers and bloggers who may be affected are keeping this in mind.
Slate.com is owned by The Washington Post Company.